Read this if you have been served with an abatement notice

The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) in New Zealand is a piece of legislation that aims to manage the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources. One aspect of the RMA is the ability for individuals or organisations to appeal an abatement notice if they feel it is unjust or unjustified.

An abatement notice is a legal document issued by a local council or regional council under the RMA that requires the recipient to stop or prevent a particular activity that is deemed to be in breach of the Act. This can include activities such as pollution, illegal dumping, or unauthorised work. The notice requires the person or business to stop the activity or to take specific actions to address the problem.

If an individual or organisation receives an abatement notice, they have the right to appeal the notice within 15 working days of receiving it. The appeal must be made to the Environment Court and must be accompanied by a fee.

Some of the grounds for appealing an abatement notice include:

  • The notice is invalid because it does not comply with the RMA
  • The notice is unjust or unjustified
  • The notice is excessive or unnecessary

It is important to note that appealing an abatement notice does not mean that the activity in question can continue until the appeal is heard. The recipient of the notice must comply with the notice until a decision is made or apply to stay the abatement notice.

When appealing an abatement notice, it is important to gather all relevant evidence to support the appeal. This can include documentation such as building consents, permits, or certificates of compliance. It is also important to seek legal advice as the process of appealing an abatement notice can be complex and time-consuming.

The Environment Court will consider the evidence presented and hear from both the appellant and the council before making a decision. The decision of the Environment Court is final and binding, and the recipient of the notice must comply with the decision.

If your appeal is successful, the abatement notice will be withdrawn or modified. If your appeal is unsuccessful, the notice will remain in effect and you will be required to take the actions specified in the notice.

It is also important to note that the cost of appealing an abatement notice can be substantial, and the outcome is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal advice before proceeding with an appeal.

Our director has acted on a number of abatement notice appeal matters. If you need legal advice on an abatement notice that has been served on you, we could assist you with the matter. Contact us by calling us on 09 889 6060 or using the form below or on the side.

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